Debiopharm signs an new IDEAL agreement with the University of Geneva
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Debiopharms and UNIGE want to fight together against cancer and drug-resistant bacterial infections
Debiopharm, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company based in Lausanne, signed of a new agreement as part of its IDEAL (Innovation Debiopharm Academia Léman) initiative with the University of Geneva (UNIGE). The UNIGE Faculty of Medicine has become a partner of the IDEAL program through which Debiopharm will accelerate the maturation of certain university research projects by offering its R&D expertise and financial support, in order to potentially be able to integrate them into its clinical system.
Within a well-defined legal framework, the IDEAL programme has set itself the mission of facilitating and accelerating the translation of university research into new therapeutic solutions for the fight against cancer and drug-resistant bacterial infections.
This is the second partnership of this type signed between UNIGE and Debiopharm. In March 2021, the Pharmaceutical Sciences Section of the UNIGE Faculty of Sciences signed a first agreement with the IDEAL program. Four research projects from the UNIGE have already received IDEAL funding and support.
“The IDEAL program is an innovative model of public-private partnership. Such projects, which act as accelerators in the ever more complex development of new treatments, make it possible to move academic research towards the development of innovative therapies that meet patients’ needs. This is a key element of translational research: the translation of results obtained in the laboratory into concrete progress for people suffering from diseases that are still little or poorly treated”, said Patrick Meraldi, Full Professor and Director of the Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism of the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine.
“The agreement signed with Debiopharm guarantees us of course the freedom of research and dissemination of scientific discoveries”, added Mikaël Pittet, Full Professor, Chairman in Onco-immunology of the ISREC Foundation and Coordinator of the Translational Research Center in Onco-haematology of the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine.
“Currently, therapeutic advances are part of a model of cooperation between fundamental research, clinical care and the industrial sector. The expertise of all parties therefore complements each other to facilitate the advance in medicine. In addition, the IDEAL partnership is an opportunity for our young researchers to acquire an industrial perspective, which is an asset for their careers.”
The IDEAL Initiative
The IDEAL initiative is based on Debiopharm’s business model, which consists of transforming innovative molecules and technologies discovered by universities and biotech companies around the world into therapeutic solutions for patients. This strategy was the foundation of the successful development of two medicines that have become reference treatments for colorectal and prostate cancer.
Thanks to IDEAL, Debiopharm wishes, in partnership with academic centers, to promote the excellent research carried out in the Lemanic region (Greater Lake Geneva region), to quickly make new treatments available to patients. For universities, the transformation of their discoveries into medicines is a unique opportunity to ensure that academic research finds practical applications for the benefit of the vast majority.
“In Switzerland, we have a flourishing ecosystem of public institutions, universities, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Despite this, over 60% of the innovations that we evaluate come from North America. The IDEAL project, launched through this partnership in the Lemanic region, will strengthen ties within our local environment with great potential to accelerate the development of new therapeutic solutions for patients. We are delighted with the extension of the collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, which is only the beginning of the development of the multiple academic-industry relationships within this regional hub of global impact”, stated Bertrand Ducrey, CEO of Debiopharm.
About the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva
Founded in 1876, the Faculty of Medicine is one of the nine faculties of the University of Geneva (UNIGE). At the heart of international Geneva, it deploys its missions of teaching, research and care in direct contact with the city and the world. Its world-class fundamental research, as well as its close association with the largest hospital complex in Switzerland, the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), give it all the assets to develop a major axis of translational research within the Lemanic biomedical ecosystem. With more than 200 laboratories, its researchers work in particular in the fields of oncology, neurosciences, metabolic diseases, or inflammation in order to understand their physiological and pathological mechanisms. The results obtained will contribute to the development of diagnostic tools, new therapies and prevention strategies.
Debiopharm aims to develop innovative therapies that target unmet needs in oncology and bacterial infections. To bridge the gap between breakthrough discoveries and patient access, Debiopharm identifies high-potential compounds, undertakes clinical development, and then partners with major pharmaceutical companies to bring medicines to the market and make them accessible to as many patients as possible throughout the world. Debiopharm intends to expand its collaboration with other university research centers and start-ups in the cantons of Vaud and Valais in order to establish an interconnected ecosystem of healthcare innovation in Switzerland.